Lying on the back, arms and legs are spread at 45 degrees, the eyes are shut and the breathe is long and deep. The entire body is relaxed into the ground, releasing tension in any area of the body. In yoga, that’s Savasana or Corpse Pose.
Savasana (shah-VAH-sah-nah) is the final resting pose at the end of almost every yoga practice. Complete stillness in mind and body is the goal of Savasana, which, for many, make this the easiest pose physically and the most challenging pose mentally.
Years ago when I tried yoga for the first time Savasana was a challenge. Focused on what’s left in the day and my to-do list, I was always tempted to skip out of class early. I didn’t get it. I didn’t see the benefit of lying there doing nothing. I was doing myself a disservice on and off the mat.
Skipping Savasana reached far beyond my yoga mat. My mind was constantly racing. I’d plan my next step while taking my current. I was a master multitasker who thrived on checking off a to-do list.
How times have changed. Now, I never miss Savasana when I practice and when I teach it’s a priority. It’s giving myself permission to stop and smell the flowers instead of rushing by and not even noticing the flowers exist.
For many it isn’t easy to embrace stillness and to not be in a constant state of “doing” all the time. In our on-the-go mentality, we can miss so much of this beautiful life. It’s the time of rest that allows us to witness how truly amazing life is. The time we spend focused on nothing, but honoring our bodies and quieting our minds that connect us to ourselves.
Why should you stay for Savasana?
It Settles and Calms Your Mind
This posture brings a deep, meditative state of rest giving you a few moments in your day to completely quiet your thoughts and let go.
It Gives Your Body a Chance to Return to Normal
This posture leaves you in a state of comfort and rejuvenation. It is the perfect way to end a yoga session.
It Helps You Reap the Benefits of Your Practice
After a series of postures or even between postures your bodily functions and systems (like your immune and digestive system) become stimulated and revitalized. Your body needs that time to process and remember the information it’s gained through each pose.
A Gentle Transition Back To Life
These final, still moments will not only allow you to let go of any tension you worked out during practice, but the feeling of calm will then lead right into a refreshed sense of energy as soon as you’re on to the next phase of the day.
Pose Guide for a Home Practice:
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
- Lie flat on your back, preferably without any props or cushions. Use small pillow below your neck if absolutely required. Close your eyes.
- Keep your legs comfortable apart and let your feet and knees relax completely, toes facing to the sides.
- Place your arms alongside, yet a little spread apart from your body. Leave your palms open, facing upward.
- Taking your attention to different body parts one by one, slowly relax your entire body.
- Keep breathing slowly, gently, deeply and allow your breath to relax you more and more. The incoming breath energizes the body while the outgoing breath brings relaxation. Drop all sense of hurry or urgency or any need to attend to anything else. Just be with the body and the breath. Surrender the whole body to the floor and let go.
You’ve almost come to the end of a 60-minute yoga class. The music softens, the lights dim, and your teacher’s voice lowers. I encourage you to resist the impulse to jump up and rush out the door. View Savasana from a new perspective and explore its gifts as you continue your yoga journey.
I’d love to chat:
Have you ever taken a yoga class? Do you have the urge to dash out the door and skip Savasana? Is Corpse Pose a challenging pose?
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